Most people are familiar with the concept of a yard sale: you go through your home and collect everything you no longer want or need, then you sell it on your front lawn.
This past weekend was a well known regional yard sale in my area. It’s basically 140 miles of yard sales from Virginia to North Carolina. This was both a good thing and a bad thing, as I’ve learned. There is a higher volume of traffic but also a lot of other sales, too.
Regional Yard Sale Rundown
- This is an annual 3-day yard sale extravaganza, running Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- It spans 2 states and approximately 140 miles.
- I did not sell on Friday because I was working and couldn’t take time off due to an important meeting.
- My mother-in-law and I both sold items on Saturday.
- I made approximately $70, mostly from clothing, books, accessories, movies, and 2 dog crates.
It was pretty crazy and amazing. This was my first time selling during this weekend and overall I think I did fairly well. It was a fun experience and I got to spend some awesome time with my mother-in-law!
I didn’t have any big ticket items, like TVs or electronics, and I think that negatively impacted my sales. The largest things I had were a small dining room table and two filing cabinets. Also, my house is near several businesses that rent out their space for the regional yard sale.
In case you were wondering, professional yard sale sellers draw a lot of attention to the area and draw attention away from your sale.
The 6 Month Rule
Now as I was getting my house back in order, particularly the kitchen, I realized I didn’t go through everything before the sale. It turns out there’s a whole cabinet in my kitchen that I forgot was even there! In every other room in my house, I use the 6-month rule regularly.
Every 6 months, I go through my pantry and freezer and get rid of expired food. I go through my “office” and get rid of junky items or excess supplies. I go through my clothes and get rid of things that no longer fit or that I haven’t worn in 6 months.
I’ve previously avoided using this rule in the kitchen because I live in the “what if” world with kitchen utensils.
What if I throw it away then I need it again?
I finally realized that it’s worth it to repurchase it (or better yet, borrow it). Obviously, it’s not that important if I haven’t used something in 6 months.
I have a small kitchen (~130 sq ft) and every bit of space is important. So I set to work making piles of things I haven’t used in 6 months.
It turns out there’s a lot of things I haven’t used in 6 months: casserole dishes, cutting boards, cheese cutters, steam baskets, a bundt pan, a strainer, a lid sorter, and more. If I had sorted through all of this before the yard sale, I might have had better luck at the yard sale. Now I’m holding a second yard sale.
Tips for Yard Sales
- Designate an area for yard sale items for a time prior to the yard sale
- Go through each room of your house the week prior to the sale to collect overlooked items
- Make sure all items are priced
- Make sure to have change
- Be prepared to get a lot of change
- Keep everything organized by group (clothing, kitchen items, electronics, bathroom items, children’s items, etc.)
- If you have a large number of books or movies, store them in a box with the spines out for easier viewing
- If possible, have a clothing rack to hang clothing
- Advertise your sale!
Friendly reminder: use the 6 months rule to reduce clutter!